The Diseases Caused by Physical Inactivity

The Diseases Caused by Physical Inactivity
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Life today is very sedentary. Get up, get into a vehicle, move around to go to work, shop, visit friends – these short bursts of energy account for most of your movement. Ultimately, you have taken minimal steps throughout the day. We cannot change the current trend and standards of work and life. Though, you can do something to stay physically active. Humans are bipedal beings with bodies structured inside and out for movement. It is well known that regular physical activity and exercise strengthen the body from bones to muscles and even the nervous system.

If exercise is challenging or finding ways to make your body move dynamically is impossible, you are in trouble. This is not said to instill fear but instead to make you aware of the reality of the situation. Many issues are scientifically backed, proving how damaging a lack of staying active and exercising is to the entire body. You may assume, "well, how bad is it?" The list below reveals only seven of the many known diseases and complications that can occur due to a lack of physical activity.

1. Obesity

Obesity is considered more of a disease, while being overweight is considered more of a risk factor. According to one's BMI, that is, height to weight ratio, and age, one can roughly determine if a person is underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese. Obesity is brought about by the overconsumption of highly caloric foods and lack of movement. One must only consume the number of calories needed for their output of work and daily activities. People should consult their healthcare providers, nutritionist, or dietician if they want to consume the right foods for their body needs.

2. Stroke

A stroke occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to a part of the brain. When your brain doesn't get oxygen and nutrients within a few minutes, it starts to die. The risk factor for a stroke increases significantly with a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical activity leads to the accumulation of fats and weakened blood vessels and heart muscles. The body generally is not working at an optimum level and is more susceptible to chronic issues that can lead to strokes and even heart attacks.

3. High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found throughout the body. While it is not inherently bad, having high amounts of it can be detrimental to a person's health, especially their cardiovascular system. The unique thing about cholesterol is that our bodies make enough of it, and we don't need to consume it. It helps with making hormones, vitamin D, and other substances that help your digestive system. However, consuming foods high in cholesterol and not finding activities to help use it up will end up being stored in the body, causing an increase that will negatively affect your heart and arteries.

4. Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes normally begins with insulin resistance after your body has responded to an abnormal amount of sugar in your blood. Lack of physical exercise means your body slowly metabolizes excessive hormones, like insulin, making the body ineffective in metabolic processes. Exercise increases your metabolism and helps maintain it at a high enough level to make the body efficient and healthy.

5. Types of Cancers

Lack of physical activity can exasperate colon, breast, and other cancers. A high-fat diet has been found to correlate with these cancers, especially colorectal ones. A link between obesity and breast cancer has been found in medical studies.

6. Hypertension

Blood pressure is how much force your blood is pushing against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure happens when your blood moves at an abnormally high rate. It tends to show no symptoms; thus, regular checkups are important. Exercise has been proven to control and even reduce one's blood pressure, while physical activity helps the heart regulate blood flow better.

7. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Regular physical activity is usually recommended for people with arthritis. The reason is that the less the joint is used and moved, the stiffer it becomes, making it more painful to move. Some medical studies have suggested that physical activity and exercise can greatly reduce the early onset of arthritis and prevent it in other cases. Even after diagnosis, exercise is necessary to help slow the deterioration of the joints. It helps by strengthening the joints and allowing for the joint lubricants to be more effective and joints being more flexible.

Physical activity and physical fitness are not the same and should not be used interchangeably. The CDC defines physical fitness as "the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness without undue tiredness." On the other hand, physical fitness is defined as general bodily movement produced by the contraction of your muscles that increases energy being used above your base level. CDC defines physical inactivity as physical activity levels less than those required for optimal health.


These definitions are stressed in this article to show that it doesn't take much to be physically active. It is sad when we suffer from diseases that we could have easily prevented by making small adjustments in our lives so that the benefits accrue over time. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk those few blocks, or better yet, cycle if possible. Move your body, and you don't need a gym. You need to be conscious and intentional with your lifestyle, from diet to daily activities. Make room to be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. That is the holistic approach that can help you become a healthy person. If confused or nervous about where to start, ask your local healthcare provider or research online on credible sites or the CDC website. The information to lead a healthier, more physically active life is out there. You will get it; it starts with you looking. Prevention is cheaper and more effective than any cure.